your regular i.r.a. by taking your money out, paying taxes on it, and rolling it into the roth. once that money is in the roth, you'll never pay tax on it or the earnings on it again, that's the beauty of the roth. so the argument goes, convert your i.r.a., pay taxes at today's low rates, and avoid taxes at higher rates when you're retired. higher rates? well, look at the budget deficit. isn't it obvious uncle sam will have to raise taxes? yes, maybe he will. but even so, your personal tax rate may not go higher. first, once you stop earning a salary and retire, you may drop into a lower tax bracket. second, even if income tax rates do go up, they'll likely be focused on people in the top brackets. that might not include you. also, remember that uncle sam might raise taxes by starting a national sales tax and holding income rates flat. a roth wont help you then. in short, don't jump to convert to a roth.